Friday, 8 October 2021

A Walk with a Mobile

With the shorter days, it is ever more important to get out while it is light, and I managed to fit in a walk roughly between 6PM and 7PM this evening (29th September 2021), as the sun was dropping below the hills surrounding the castle. For the first time ever I strode out with a pedometer vis a vis, my mobile phone and an app! I had been talking to someone earlier in the day about strides counts, so figured now was the time. According, I did two of my normal walks back-to-back, to get that count up (5562!).

I walked to the upper weir which used to supply the castle's hydroelectric station, and then up over the top of the forest planted on the steep slope immediately behind the castle.

My other technological companion on the walk was the Seek app which is amazing at identifying animal and plant species.

Seek identified the genus of this coral fungus shown below as Clavulinopsis, but could not manage the species. However, with a little googling I am pretty certain it is Clavulinopsis luteoalba (or Apricot Club) which is common on grazed land.

Apricot  Club

Seek identified the heather below as Bell Heather (Erica cinerea). I knew this one already as my friend Andrew explained that the seed heads rattle like tiny bells. Amazingly, this is still mostly in flower with some seed heads, and its particularly deep colour contributes to the famous purple hue of the hills of Scotland.

Bell Heather

Seek identified the plant below as Common Heather (Calluna vulgaris). All you can see are the rather dull seed heads due to the time of year, but this is another plant which which contributes to the purple hue of the hills. I always feel cheated by an identification with "common" in the name, as it is just a way of saying "there is a lot of it about" rather than an identification per se.

Common Heather

For completeness, I should mention that the third of the three plants which contributes to the purple colour of the Scottish hills is Cross-Leaved Heath (Erica tetralix).

So one is never alone with a mobile. I fell into the trap of checking my stride count every so often, which is precisely why I had not installed such an app before. Hopefully, it will stay "all about the walk" and not about the numbers.

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